Crisp winter mornings mark a busy time for Coast Care, the start of the dune planting season. This year they’re hoping to plant 20,000 native dune plants and are looking for all the help they can get.
Now in its 24th year, Coast Care is an environmental restoration programme formed by the Bay Of Plenty Regional Council, Western Bay, Tauranga, Opotiki and Whakatāne district and city councils to restore and protect sand dunes across the region.
Coast Care is considered one of the most successful coastal restoration programmes in the country and is recognised around the world for its work. With the help of volunteers, community groups, schools and land owners, they plant around 80,000 native dune plants a year, with almost 20,000 planted in the Eastern Bay last year alone.
Sand dunes are vital to maintaining our beaches and preventing coastal erosion. Their unique plants hold sand in place and prevent destruction from storm surges and wind. However, the popularity of our beaches, changing climate, pests and development pressure are all affecting the health of our dunes. Currently only 25% of the region’s native dune lands remain, which is why Coast Care’s work is important in making sure our beaches remain for many more years to come.
Coast Care invites volunteers who are keen to get involved to come down to a planting bee. Held over winter they provide people with the opportunity to learn more about the coastline, help restore and protect the region’s sand dunes. All that is needed is weather appropriate clothing and covered shoes, they will supply the rest.
For more information or to find out when a planting bee will be in your region, visit www.boprc.govt.nz/coastcare or call Wayne O’Keefe on 0800 884 881 ext 8800.